It is essential to state that the Islamic approach to dealing with any issue relating to faith and practice is direct. Thus this invariably involves looking at what the Qur’an has to say, how this was understood and applied by the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the pious generations, who are considered our perennial role models in all matters of deen (religion).
According to the Qur’an and Sunnah, there is no reincarnation (tanasukh al-arwah), but there will be indeed resurrection (ba`th). Those people who claim to have recollections of past lives — usually under hypnosis — may be hearing the whispers of jinn, even without their knowing it. In such an altered state of consciousness they would be more susceptible to such whispers and suggestions and then interpret them as their own memories.
Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states the following: “Reincarnation (tanasukh) is an un-Islamic idea. It has no place in the Qur’an and Sunnah. In Islam we believe in resurrection, not reincarnation. Thus, there is no such thing as past lives according to Islam. Allah created us from nothing and gave us existence. We have only one life on this earth. After death we will be raised up again on the Day of Judgment. There is no return to this life before the Day of Judgment.
People have all kinds of imagination. Sometimes people imagine and dream things. That does not mean that this actually happened to them. Our mind works in so many different ways. The so-called recollections of lives before this life are nothing but hallucinations.”